Treasure Island offers a quiet "laid back" atmosphere while being just a short drive from major theme parks in Tampa
; it's also not very far from Orlando Attractions
either. Touted as "The Treasure of the Gulf Coast", you'll find Treasure Island on Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast near St. Petersburg
. Three miles of beautiful sandy beaches
make up Treasure Island's best known attraction. You can walk along the beach or choose to stroll along the nearly mile length of the Treasure Island Beach Trail. This paved walkway along the east side of the beach offers easy access to the motels, restaurants and bars, condos, playgrounds, volleyball courts and many beach accesses that make up the heart of Treasure Island's hotel district.
Things to do in Treasure Island
The Trail is a favorite place to walk, jog, skate, bike, or skateboard in the cool morning or twilight. Or, perhaps you could even ride the wildly popular Segway, the new scooter-type 'vehicle' you lean forward on to move, down The Trail. If you've brought your golf club, you can put them to good use at one of several courses on the island.
If you enjoy the water more, you have the option to charter a boat and make it fishing day. Also, you can parasail, rent a jet ski or even a boat of your own for the day, as well as go on a pirate adventure or dolphin watching.
When you're ready to come in a cool off, head on in to Ricky T's Bar and Grill
, touted as 'where the locals go'. If you'd like a frozen treat, try Super Scoops! Café Berlin is a small, family owned restraunt which has authentic German food. Caddy's on the Beach
, also family owned, is a great place to get a beer and watch the game or head out to the beach with something frozen and tropical to keep you cool. Captain Kosmakos is a great place to get some seafood, grab a steak or enjoy an Italian selection. Gigi's Italian Restaurant
also has many delicious selections to choose from.
If you're in the mood for a bar, try Sloppy Joe's on the Beach
, you may think you're in Key West . The Bilmar Beach Resort
is home to Bazzie's Beach Bar, where you can enjoy the Dixieland Jazz that has played there since 1967.
If you're wondering what else there is to do in the area, you'll find quaint John's Pass Village on the north end of Treasure Island, and down to the south, St. Pete Beach offers many shops, restaurants and bars too. St. Petersburg itself is close by and has a busy downtown district that's great to visit. So be sure to put a stop by Treasure Island on you list of things to do. You can relax on the beach, take a nice stroll down a paved beachside trail, get great food and tropical fruity drinks, enjoy the nightlife, or spend the day on the water with your family; what more could you ask for from a vacation?
Treasure Island History
The first people to settle Treasure Island were the Timucan Indians, around 300 A.D., then in 1528, the Spaniard Panfilio de Narvaez came looking for treasure; however, he found none left a couple of weeks later. Slowly, the Europeans came and settled the area, living in beach shacks and making their living fishing and harvesting turtles. Then the "Great Gale" of 1848 hit and created John's Pass on the Island's north end, which split off two smaller islands that are now the Isle of Palms and Capri Isle.
Around 1900, due to a land boom in St. Petersburg, weekend tourist started coming to the beaches, but there were no bridges yet, so they had to use a ferry service.
The first hotel, the "Coney Island", was built in 1915, on Treasure Island, as development began. Then, a couple of enterprising property owners got word out about a couple of wooden chests "discovered" on the beach. People began calling the little island Treasure Island, and the name stuck even though the currents owners had staged the whole thing out.
In 1923, planning began on the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, but disagreements delayed the start of construction until 1938. When the bridge was finished, in 1939, it was called "the best constructed bridge in Florida
After World War Two, more houses and hotels were built, several of which were along the waterfront. In 1955, the City of Treasure Island was incorporated.
Today, one of the best and most popular ways to get around the city is the Beach Trolley, which provides service to Treasure Island residents and guests alike offering easy access to all the Beaches with Trolley Stops every block or so all along the entire length of Gulf Boulevard, which is the main street through town.
Treasure Island is a unique blend of a small town, laid back beach community and an internationally known family vacation destination. So come; bring the family and see all this great little island has in store.
By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com